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Saturday, 3 October 2015

From Today's Papers - 03 Oct 2015

India’s stern message rattles Pak
United Nations, October 2
After India made it clear that “talks and terror cannot go together”, Pakistan has asserted the “core” issue of Jammu and Kashmir will always be on top of the agenda of any bilateral dialogue.

Hours after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressed the UN General Assembly yesterday, Pakistan exercised its Right of Reply, alleging India was using the “terrorism bogey” to stall dialogue.

Swaraj, in her address, had said instead of the four-point peace initiative proposed by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, it should address just “one issue” of giving up terrorism.

She made it clear that terrorism emanating from Pakistan is hampering normalisation of bilateral ties as she underlined that “talks and terror cannot go together”.

However, Pakistan blamed India for the unrest and terror on its soil, saying it has handed over to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dossiers in this regard.

Counselor in Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN Bilal Ahmad said the dossiers include details of alleged “Indian interference and support for terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi as well as its security and intelligence agencies’ link with the Tehrik-e-Taliban especially in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas)”.

“Using the terrorism bogey, India has not only stalled the bilateral dialogue but also vitiated the overall atmosphere between the two countries,” he alleged.

“The core issue of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be cast aside by empty rhetoric. It has been and will always be on top of the agenda of any talks between India and Pakistan. “...It is therefore disingenuous of India to ignore the serious peace initiative proposed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan from this august forum,” he said.

He informed the UN General Assembly that Pakistan has yesterday handed over to the UN Secretary-General dossiers containing, what it called, “evidence” of alleged Indian involvement.

A day after Sharif raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN, Swaraj used the same forum to raise the issue of “illegal occupation of parts of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir” by Pakistan and said terror attacks from there were engineered to legitimise it.

“We do not need four points, we need just one - give up terrorism and let us sit down and talk,” Swaraj had said in her 25-minute speech before the 193-member body.

India-Pak ties have hit a rough patch particularly after cancellation of what would have been the first-ever NSA-level talks in August following differences over the agenda proposed by Islamabad, and a planned meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz. — PTI
India to conduct concurrent military drills with China, US
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 2
The Indian armed forces will conduct simultaneous military exercises with China on one hand and a tri-lateral drill with US and Japan on the other.

Both exercises will run concurrently—- one off the Indian east coast and the other in China. From October 11-23, an Army team will participate in a counter-insurgency exercise named ‘Hand-in-Hand’ at Kunming, China. From October 12-19, India, US and Japan will launch a naval exercise “Malabar” in the Bay of Bengal that will include four-day sea-going exercises, including a ‘submarine hunt’.

This comes in the backdrop of the first-ever India-US-Japan tri-lateral ministerial dialogue held on the sidelines of the 70th UN General Assembly session in New York on September 30. The three countries have agreed to work together to maintain maritime security through greater collaboration and strengthen regional connectivity. They have spoken about keeping the South China Sea free for navigation. China and five other countries dispute the maritime boundaries in the South China Sea and the dispute is pending in the United Nations. A large volume of Indian trade transits the sea.

US Secretary of State John Kerry hosted the dialogue with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

On October 12, top-of-the-line US warships and a nuclear-powered submarine shall be in the Bay of Bengal. A similar convergence of US-India-Japan navies in 2007 had raised the hackles of Beijing which termed it as an ‘anti-China’ grouping. Australia had participated in the 2007 exercise. India and the US have limited the “Malabar” to a bilateral format since 2007. However, the US included Japan when it hosted the same exercise in the Pacific last year.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt, a 1 lakh tonne sea-borne aircraft carrier with space for some 90 fighter-jets and helicopters on board, will be leading the US fleet. At present, it is deployed in the Persian Gulf and is used by the US to launch attacks on the Islamic State-controlled areas. The nuclear-powered warship is 332 m long and is one of the most potent US warships from its ‘Nimitz-class’ of carriers.

A littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth, a nuclear-powered ‘Los Angeles class’ submarine and a guided-missile carrying cruiser USS Normandy will be part of the fleet for the naval exercise.
Russia bombs Syria for 3rd day
First time since WW-II Russia and US in combat over same country
Moscow/Beirut, Oct 2
Russia bombed Syria for a third day on Friday, mainly hitting areas held by rival insurgent groups rather than the Islamic State fighters it said it was targeting.

Washington, which is leading its own air campaign against Islamic State, says Moscow has been using its campaign as a pretext to hit other groups opposed to Russia's ally, President Bashar al-Assad.

Some of the groups that have been hit are supported by countries which oppose both Assad and Islamic State, including at least one group that received training from the CIA. Moscow said on Friday its latest strikes had hit 12 Islamic State targets, but most of the areas it described were in parts of the country where the militant group has little or no sway.

The Russian Defence Ministry said its Sukhoi-34, Sukhoi-24M and Sukhoi-25 warplanes had flown 18 sorties, describing targets  in western and northern Syria, including a command post and a communications centre in the province of Aleppo, a militant field camp in Idlib and a command post in Hama.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict with a network of sources on the ground, said Islamic State had no presence in the western and northern areas that were struck.

President Vladimir Putin's decision this week to launch air strikes on Syria marks a dramatic escalation of foreign involvement in a four-year-old civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake. — Reuters
Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag exhorts all ranks to continue to excel

JAIPUR: Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag has exhorted all ranks to continue to excel and face new challenges in the fast changing security environment.

The Army Chief met wth senior officers of South Western Command during his two-day visit here which concluded today, Defence Spokesperson Lt Col Manish Ojha said.

He also attended the Platinum Jubilee of the fifth battalion of Gorkha Rifles at the Jaipur Military Station yesterday and addressed the officers and Jawans.
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